iPhone Still Represents Majority of Smartphone Sales at AT&T

attAlongside AT&T's announcement of one million iPhone 4S activations today, the carrier also released its financial results for the third quarter of 2011. As Apple saw with customers holding off on iPhone purchases in anticipation of a new model, AT&T reported that it activated 2.7 million iPhones during the quarter, down from 3.6 million in each of the previous two quarters.

All told, AT&T sold 4.8 million smartphones during the quarter, and while AT&T's "activations" number is slightly different than its sales numbers due to the inclusion of previously-sold handsets being reactivated by new users, that difference is slight. As a result, the iPhone continues to represent more than half of AT&T's overall smartphone sales.

In the third quarter, the company sold 4.8 million smartphones, representing nearly two-thirds of postpaid device sales. Sales of Android devices more than doubled year over year, and almost half of all smartphone sales were non-iPhone devices. During the quarter, 2.7 million iPhones were activated.

AT&T notes that it has now passed 100 million subscribers and that its profit margins in wireless improved year-over-year, due in part to the lack of an iPhone launch just before or during the third quarter this year. AT&T's churn rate of customers leaving the carrier also decreased year-over-year, even for iPhone customers who had Verizon as a new iPhone option during this year's third quarter.

Overall, AT&T's revenues were down 0.3% compared to the year-ago quarter, with the carrier citing iPhone launch timing as one of the primary factors in that decrease.

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Top Rated Comments

DiamondMac Avatar
164 months ago


That's because AT&T is awesome!

AT&T ever plan on showing that awesomeness?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Caliber26 Avatar
164 months ago
This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. I mean, seriously, what other device out there would possibly outsell the iPhone?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
h0mi Avatar
164 months ago

All told, AT&T sold 4.8 million smartphones during the quarter, and while AT&T's "activations" number is slightly different than its sales numbers due to the inclusion of previously-sold handsets being reactivated by new users, that difference is slight. As a result, the iPhone continues to represent more than half of AT&T's overall smartphone sales.AT&T notes that it has now passed 100 million subscribers and that its profit margins in wireless improved year-over-year, due in part to the lack of an iPhone launch just before or during the third quarter this year. AT&T's churn rate of customers leaving the carrier also decreased year-over-year, even for iPhone customers who had Verizon as a new iPhone option during this year's third quarter.

This is also a good indication that while android has a larger marketshare (~35% to ~29% IIRC ... numbers are probably off a little) it's due in large part to having been available for so long on Verizon and Sprint while the iphone wasn't on either carrier until earlier this year & a week ago respectively.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Caliber26 Avatar
164 months ago
I would have bought a 4s if I had an upgrade availible. I bought an iphone 4 last year but my upgrade date is feb 2012! I spend 250 bucks a month on out phones. Guess thats not enough. :confused:

That is interesting. I'm not sure what to say, then. I have a total of three lines and spend $180 every month (after my discount through my job). 700 min plan, unlimited texting + unlimited mobile-to-mobile, two lines with 2GB and one with 200MB. Granted, only my line was eligible for an upgrade this year even though two of my lines got iPhone-4 last year.

I'd call AT&T again and ask nicely about getting your date moved closer and point out what you're spending. They should at least do it for your main number.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imotionb18 Avatar
164 months ago
I would have bought a 4s if I had an upgrade availible. I bought an iphone 4 last year but my upgrade date is feb 2012! I spend 250 bucks a month on out phones. Guess thats not enough. :confused:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Caliber26 Avatar
164 months ago
Why is the real reason not being said why most are not upgrading.
ATT did not roll back upgrade dates. Most everyone that bought an iPhone 4 last year cannot but until Nov or later.

Yes ATT did let some upgrade early for some magically reason they cannot explain to me but many cannot.

I do not know many people that want to pay an extra 250 dollars, plus a 18 dollar fee on top of the 199, 299, or 399 price of the phone.

Wait a couple months and see how many sell with Apple, and I am sure Verizon also.

Discounted upgrades are offered to customers based on how much they spend on their wireless services. If you have the cheapest minute/text/data plans and are keeping your expenses to a minimum, then AT&T feels that they have not made enough money off of you, just yet, and will not give you another discounted device until they've made what they need to make, in order to recover the amount they subsidized when you got your phone for $199 (or $299, if you got the 32GB).

Basically, the more you spend, the sooner you're eligible for an upgrade. And this is also based on a per-line basis.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)